If you are like me and millions of people worldwide you love pasta. According to BBC News Magazine June 15, 2011, pasta is the World’s favorite food! There are so many different shapes, brands and flavors worldwide, I don’t think we could come to a mutual agreement on which one is best, however I think anyone who has tasted it, everyone would say that Homemade Pasta is by far the best! The texture of freshly made pasta cooked al dente does not even need a sauce, a touch of butter and salt and pepper: perfection!
Making homemade pasta can be tricky! I have taken many cooking lessons on homemade pasta, first it can be labor intense, it is usually messy and there is a room for error. I would still argue it is worth the effort, or the cost to drive to your neighborhood authentic Italian market and buy the freshy made pasta.
Several years ago, while working on the shopping channel Evine (based out of Eden Prairie Minnesota) Chef Todd English was selling an electric pasta extruder which would knead the dough then extrude it. All you had to do was measure the few ingredients, then load machine, press a button to producing perfect pasta in under 5 minutes. Every time Todd would do his demonstration I would watch intensely, it never missed. He would make different flavored pasta like spinach and squid ink. When the demonstrations would be complete, we all would converge onto the finished cooked pasta and moan with delight at how delicious it was!
Todd English no longer sells his Electric Vertical Pasta Extruder (there may be some on eBay or Amazon), but I was fortunate my father bought a machine while e was demonstrating it. My father is an excellent cook, we have a wonderful time cooking together. Now when I visit my father on a whim, he pulls out the pasta machine and within 10 minutes including cleanup we have delicious homemade pasta! The version my father bought did not come with a recipe book, so he has had some challenges. My friend Chaff Pat Carlson came up with a brilliant recipe for pasta for this machine, so if you have this machine, get yours out and get making pasta! The pasta comes out amazing!
3 level cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs beaten
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Water to fill to 7.5 ounces on a liquid measuring cup
The Todd English pasta maker cups with a dry measuring cup ad a liquid measuring cup, they both adhere to US standards so if you lose one or have a different machine a standard one will work. All eggs have a different amount of liquid in them, that is why I state to fill to the 7.5 line.
Measure the flour and dump into the pasta machine, add the salt.
In a small bowl beat the eggs, pour the beaten eggs into a liquid measuring cup. Add the oil, add water until the liquid get to the 7.5 measuring line.
Select the 1-3 cup function then press start.
Let the flour and salt mix for a few minutes, the slowly pour the liquid in through the slots. Do not pour the liquid all at once, take your time. All fours are a little different, some will not need all the liquid, some will need a few drops more. When the mixture resembles crumble for a coffee cake or wet sand, stop adding liquid, it will be at least 75% of the liquid. You do not want it to form a ball and you don’t want the mixture too dry, I usually have a tablespoon or so of liquid left over. If you add too much liquid and a ball is formed, it will never extrude. It will still be a yummy dough which you could roll out with a rolling pin and hand cut raviolis, but if the dough is too wet you will not be able to extrude the pasta. Too dry is not good either, but easier to fix.
As the past extrudes out the bottom cut the pasta with scissors for the length you desire. You have two choices currently, continue to dry the pasta or cook it. To dry the pasta if you made long noodles you will want to dust them with four and gently turn them into nests. Once they are thoroughly dry place them in a dry airtight container and they will be good for months.
I always cook them right away because it is so easy! I bring a pot with 6 cps of water to a boil and add a teaspoon of salt. Gently add the batch of pasta (the whole 3 cup batch will fit. Let simmer for 5 minutes gently moving pasta around to make sure it does not stick. Test pasta for doneness after 5 minutes. Strain with a colander. Cook with your favorite sauce.
Check my recipe for Shrimp with Lemon Basil Cream Pasta it’s delicious!
Enjoy! If you have questions that need immediate answering tag me on my Facebook Page In The Kitchen With Debra Murray.